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Author Topic: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder  (Read 1402 times)

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Offline deastman

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6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« on: April 01, 2012, 09:45:41 pm »
Looking to buy my first forwarder, preferably a smaller one.  Currently looking at a 6wd Valmet 546C and a 8wd Cat 554. Are there advantages of an 8wd over 6wd? Which would get around better in tight areas and wet ground? Is there a big difference in ground disturbance between the two? It will be forwarding behind a tracked processor with a 4-roller Fabtek.
Samsung 130 LCM-3 with Fabtek 4-roller and Cat 554 forwarder, Cat EL 180 excavator, Cat D3C dozer, Cat D7E dozer, '92 Ford LTL 9000 dump, Easy-2-Load 25 Ton tag-a-long, current project under construction: '91 Peterbilt 379 with a Hood 8000 w/extenda-boom loader

Offline Gary_C

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Re: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 10:20:18 pm »
Obviously an eight wheeled machine has better flotation on soft ground but is not as easy to manuever in tight places. As far as a big difference, there is probably not a large difference.

I have an six wheeled Valmet 840 with tracks and it has taken me into some soft spots with big loads with few problems. However you can always get into some difficult situations when you least expect it. Just yesterday I went down the road to pull another six wheeled machine out that was stuck. The problem was they had driven over a dead tree in the path and the back bogies which were carrying a big load could not climb over the log and the front had found a soft spot and went down quick. those kind of things can happen with either machine. The guy, actually it was a young lady, probably could have gotten thru the spot if they had their tracks on, but they were laying at the landing. I never run without the tracks, winter or summer.

Ground disturbance will be worse with the tracked processor, and you can cause some limited rutting with the single wheels on the six wheeled machine. But again tracks on the bogeys will limit the rutting with the forwarder.

And the eight wheeled machines are supposed to ride better over rough ground.
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Offline treefarmer87

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Re: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 12:00:10 am »
less wheels and axles means less problems. But a 8 will can carry more wood than a 6 wheel. The valmet  might be easier to work on as it uses ford tractor components. Good luck
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 07:57:36 am »
the valmet should be a lot less cash. a 554 cat? i see milton has a 574 two of them. the 99 is eco log based  the other fabtec. if its the eco log parts may be a problem. some things on the cat branded is different then the eco log. talk to milton they will tell you all parts need to come from sweden. the valmet  546 is pretty tuff ford motor ft axle clark trans. if its power shift. 620 or 650 crane?? almost any part you need is 2 days away. ac is a must

Online barbender

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Re: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 03:09:37 pm »
I would disagree about an eight wheel machine being smoother riding, especially  stumps. Even small stumps give you a good jolt, and you get to feel every one twice with an eight wheel. If you had tracks all the way around it would change things because the tracks would help bridge the bumps.
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Offline craigc

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Re: 6wd vs. 8wd forwarder
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 07:36:56 pm »
I run a 6 wheel Rottne SMV.  If you are currently running a skidder any 6 or 8 wheel will ride better.  I would not do without a hydrostat machine they are much better in bad situations.  As far as manuvering,  I like my 6 wheeler but Rikard at Blondin told me they only make the SMV in 8 wheel now.  It is supposed to manuver just as good.  As far as driving, throw away skidder mentality it doesn't work in a forwarder.
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